PARIS—The new government of President Francoise Hollande indicated Thursday that it was unlikely that the law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide would be “resurrected,” reported Reuters.
France’s new foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, made the announcement during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu who is in Paris on an official visit.
Last month Turkey indicated that it would remove all sanctions imposed when the two houses of the French parliament passed a measure to criminalize the denial of the Armenian Genocide. France’s high court ultimately ruled against the law, saying it impeded free speech.
During his presidential campaign Hollande vowed that he would personally draft a similar law and shepherd its passage.
In April, Hollande said he would make sure that a new law is drafted with “utmost legal security” in order to ensure its approval by the country’s highest court. “We can no longer commit an imprecision that would again leave us with the impossibility of having the text validated,” he said.
Davutoglu hailed the opening of what he deemed are warmer relations with France since the new regime has opted out of pursuing the Genocide law.
Fabius, however, skirted the question of Ankara’s bid to join the European Union, which was launched in 2005 but has virtually ground to a halt due to a dispute over the island of Cyprus.
“The French government is examining a number of matters inherited from the previous government,” he said at a joint news conference.
Fabius hinted that EU membership for Turkey would be put to a referendum, as anticipated by a 2008 constitutional amendment which can nonetheless be overruled by parliament.
“At the end of the day, things will come down to the decision of the people,” he said.
Hollande, while running for president this year, answered a question about Turkey’s accession to the EU by saying: “It will not happen during the next five-year term.”
Turkey would only enter the EU once it fulfils all 35 membership criteria, 14 of which are blocked due to Turkey’s refusal to recognize Greek Cypriot sovereignty on the island.